Three days in November 1973 certainly could contend for the most stressful moments in my life. On the 28th of November Elaine and I wondered whether our first walk down the aisle was legitimate because the presiding priest my friend was married secretly at the time. In order to give our union certitude we were married again in Santa Clara. The next morning which also happened to be my birthday, I was to defend my dissertation ,and though all of the members had already signed …off there was always that lingering thought that some professor from another part of the University could show up and ask questions which could lead to further work. The title Doctor could not be official until it was accepted and placed in the library. Fortunately this did not happen, the defense went perfectly and the bottle of Gattinara that had been saved for the event went down rather smoothly that afternoon at lunch..
The morning of November 30th was the last leg of the three day challenge as we flew home to meet my family. Elaine’s parents had visited mine in New Jersey in September but Elaine had never personally met my family. There was a certain amount of anxiety, but we had been warmed by the responses of my brother and sister in the last few months. When both had been asked about how they felt about my leaving the active ministry their response had been identical. “We loved Sal before he was a priest, while he was a priest and still love him now. This warmed my heart, and I knew that once my parents met Elaine their hearts would melt by seeing what a wonderful choice that I had made.
The only downside to the visit was that the family thought that we were far too skinny and had us eating course after course for the entire visit. It was a time of pressure, but once again the realization was front and center that we had been raised and loved by wonderful people, and that was the foundation of our future together.